There aren’t many solo images of MacKenzie Bezos out there. Even though the mom of four is a successful writers and played her own roll in the formation of Amazon, almost all images of MacKenzie include her husband Jeff Bezos.
Vogue US interviewed one of the world’s richest women in 2013 in advance of her “gripping new novel Traps”. The interview by Rebecca Johnson describes MacKenzie as a “bookish and she” girl who spent hours in her bedroom writing elaborate stories. She attended first Hotchkiss and then Princeton, a very deliberate choice that gave her access to writer Toni Morrison. One of America’s most important voices became Bezos’ mentor and called her in 2013 “one of the best students I’ve ever had in my creative-writing classes . . . really one of the best.” It was Morrison who made the all-important recommendation of Amanda “Binky” Urban as a literary agent.
Now that she’s divorced, Johnson’s Vogue interview is even more interesting, describing the couple as two very different people who have created a sensational marriage. Enough said on that topic — except that Money Magazine says that MacKenzie made the first move, asking Jeff to lunch.
MacKenzie Bezos made big news this week, taking an action very different from her ex-husband’s. Jeff Bezos is not known for his largess, his philanthropy or his civic activism. MacKenzie plans to live a different life. He was very outspoken about declining to sign the Giving Pledge, a commitment by billionaires to dedicate the majority of their wealth to giving back, The Giving Pledge was created by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett in 2010. Jeff Bezos joins them as three of America’s five richest people and the only one not to sign the Giving Pledge. Note that only 7 percent of the world’s billionaires have signed the Giving Pledge.
Mackenzie Bezos is not one of them, signing a pledge to give at least half of her $37 billion in assets to charity, writes ELLE US.
“We each come by the gifts we have to offer by an infinite series of influences and lucky breaks we can never fully understand. In addition to whatever assets life has nurtured in me, I have a disproportionate amount of money to share,” she said in her statement, obtained by Bloomberg News. “My approach to philanthropy will continue to be thoughtful. It will take time and effort and care. But I won’t wait. And I will keep at it until the safe is empty.”
It will be interesting to watch Ms.Bezos bloom in her own right., joining Laurene Powell Jobs and Melinda Gates as yet another woman with a seat at the big boys table.